December 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Messiah.
New video via YouTube… Rachel Sermanni – Everything Changes, taken from Everything Changes EP, out on January 27.
Free mini-album download via Bandcamp… We See Lights – Every Autumn, Every Winter.
New gigs… Kid Canaveral at Glasgow’s Stereo on February 14, Aberdeen’s Tunnels on March 7 and Dundee’s Beat Generator on March 8.
December 5, 2013: Fatherson, The LaFontaines, Cairn String Quartet, Garden Of Elks and The Holy Ghosts have been announced as The Big Apple Award competition finalists. All five acts play free sets at Glasgow’s G2 on December 11, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs for the winners.
New gigs… Silibil N’ Brains (stars of The Great Hip Hop Hoax film) play Dundee’s Buskers on December 27 and Glasgow’s Pivo Pivo on December 28.
December 4, 2013: Mick Cooke has left Belle & Sebastian. The band made the announcement in their latest mailshot, stating: “We wish him all the best with any future projects and hope to work alongside him again in the future.” The multi-instrumentalist, who had been a full-time member of Belle & Sebastian since 1998, will now focus on his work as a composer and arranger.
New gig… Song, by Toad Records’ 5th Birthday Party at Edinburgh’s Henry’s Cellar Bar on December 21 featuring PAWsault, Tom Collins Shatner and assorted label friends and guests.
December 3, 2013: Budding musicians aged between 14-19 can register for Hit The Road, a project that offers workshops, seminars and information sessions about performing live, before they are given the opportunity to tour across Scotland. The next set of tours will launch in January, with each one taking three acts on the road.
New video via YouTube… Red Sands – Too Short A Season, taken from debut album Red Sands, out on December 9.
New video via YouTube… Mickey 9s – Ammunition.
New EP release via Bandcamp… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree.
December 2, 2013: New video via YouTube… Mogwai – The Lord Is Out Of Control, taken from their forthcoming album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New album release via iTunes… Cold Crows Dead – I Fear A New World, featuring The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
November 29, 2013: Brew at the Bog have announced the first 25 acts for its festival in Inverness on May 3. The line-up includes Kid Canaveral, Stanley Odd, Friends In America, Fake Major, Randolph’s Leap, Call To Mind, Beerjacket, Campfires In Winter, Shambles Miller, The Little Kicks, This Silent Forest, Woodenbox, Jo Mango and Atom Tree.
The Holy Ghosts have set up a Kickstarter page for pre-orders of their debut album Ride Them Down, due out in April.
November 28, 2013: New video via YouTube… Over The Wall – Radiator.
New video via YouTube… Book Group – Victory Lap, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single.
New album release via Bandcamp… Scott McWatt – A Ceíst Amá.
November 27, 2013: New song streams via SoundCloud… King Creosote – Dial C For Cradle; Meddling Gut Wrenches; Impossible To Resist.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Rachel Sermanni – Everything Changes.
Findlay Napier has set up a PledgeMusic page to fund the recording of VIP: Very Interesting Persons, an album of songs co-written with Boo Hewerdine.
November 26, 2013: Free album download via Bandcamp… Olive Grove Records Sampler featuring Call To Mind, The State Broadcasters, Randolph’s Leap, The Moth & The Mirror, The Son(s), Woodenbox, Jo Mango and Pensioner.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Mini50 Records Winter Sampler 2013.
New song release via iTunes… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine. Dan Willson will play solo gigs at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on November 27 and Aberdeen’s Tunnels on November 28 as well as Glasgow’s Platform on January 24 for Celtic Connections.
New video via YouTube… Kid Canaveral – A Compromise, taken from A Compromise EP.
November 25, 2013: New album release… There Will Be Fireworks – The Dark, Dark Bright on CD and download.
Detour will hold their fourth Wee Jaunt in Glasgow on December 7, and the allocation of free places has already been snapped up. Email your name to email@example.com to be added to the reserve list.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Sparrow And The Workshop – One Brush.
Blindfolds have split up after three years together – they bow out with the release of new video Lucid.
November 22, 2013: New video via YouTube… Young Aviators – We’ve Got Names For Folk Like You.
New video via YouTube… The Pastels – Kicking Leaves.
New video via YouTube… Conscious Route feat Werd & Jordan Butler – Friends Til The End.
New gig… The Xcerts at Aberdeen’s Downstairs on December 21.
New gig… Glasgow’s Dirty Weekender across five venues on February 28-March 1 featuring Mark Morriss (The Bluetones), Mark Gardener (Ride), Bombskare, etc.
November 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine.
New video via YouTube… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree, taken from When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree EP, out on December 2.
CHVRCHES’ gig for TYCI’s Christmas Party on December 21 has been moved to Glasgow’s SWG3 due to a delay in the reopening of The Vic venue at The Art School.
New gig… The Jezabels at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on February 26, plus ticket bundles with new album The Brink.
November 20, 2013: Arctic Monkeys have been announced as the one of headliners at next year’s T in the Park on July 11-13. Tickets go on sale on November 22.
New gig… The Christmas Songwriters’ Club at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on December 22 featuring Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Kid Canaveral, Broken Records, Miaoux Miaoux, Siobhan Wilson, TeenCanteen with Eugene Kelly, Karine Polwart & Findlay Napier, We See Lights and Very Well.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – Fake Hallelujah.
November 19, 2013: New video via YouTube… Franz Ferdinand – Bullet.
Free EP download via Bandcamp… King Post Kitsch – The Silver Screen.
New video via YouTube… The Amazing Snakeheads – Flatlining.
November 18, 2013: CHVRCHES have been confirmed as the live band for TYCI’s Christmas Party at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New album trailer via YouTube… Withered Hand – New Gods, due out in February.
New Beerjacket album Darling Darkness will be released on January 27.
New tour… The Winter Tradition at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on February 6, Stirling’s Tolbooth on February 7, Aberdeen’s Cafe Drummond on February 8, Inverness’ Mad Hatters on February 9, Galashiels’ Heriot-Watt Student Union on February 10, Dundee’s Duke’s Corner on February 11 and Perth’s Twa Tams on February 15.
November 17, 2013: Glasgow venue King Tut’s has unveiled it line-up for the fourth annual King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution on January 3-16, with the likes of Campfires In Winter, Cherri Fosphate, Book Group, Garden Of Elks, Saint Max And The Fanatics and Quinny featuring on all-local bills.
Labels, musicians and fans are being invited to register albums released by Scottish artists in 2013 for consideration for next year’s SAY Award.
November 15, 2013: French Wives will play their last ever gig at Glasgow’s Mono on December 19 after announcing they are splitting up.
New video via YouTube… There Will Be Fireworks – Youngblood.
New album release via iTunes… Ministry Of Stories – Share More Air, an album of children’s lyrics set to original music including Rachel Sermanni’s Love Story.
New song stream via Bandcamp… Water Of Life – Sources And Springs / Abercrombie, 1949, an art-science collaboration between Tommy Perman and Rob St. John exploring flows of water through Edinburgh.
November 14, 2013: New gig… The Wee Chill Festive Weekender at Glasgow’s SWG3 on December 22, featuring Admiral Fallow, Washington Irving, The Little Kicks, Call To Mind and Atom Tree.
The Big Apple Award has launched its annual competition, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs. The deadline for applications is December 2, before the winner is picked from a shortlist of five Scottish performers at Glasgow’s Garage on December 11. The last two victors were Stanley Odd and Song Of Return.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – Traveling Blues (demo)
November 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will incorporate an afternoon of free live music on January 1. Starting at the National Museum of Scotland at noon, the guest-curated SCOT:LANDS event will feature performances across nine Old Town venues by the likes of King Creosote, Withered Hand, RM Hubbert, Lau and FOUND as well as a production of Whatever Gets You Through The Night.
New video via YouTube… Washington Irving – Palomides , director James Houston claims it’s the world’s first autostereogram music video.
New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover).
New video via Vevo… KT Tunstall – Made Of Glass.
November 12, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Medals – Disguises, new project of Sucioperro’s JP Reid.
New event… Vic Galloway – Songs In The Key Of Fife book reading + Withered Hand + Kid Canaveral at Glenrothes’ Rothes Halls on November 29.
New album stream via SoundCloud… Kobi Onyame – Glory, available to buy on iTunes.
November 11, 2013: Next year’s MTV Europe Music Awards will be held at Glasgow’s Hydro on November 9.
Arches singer Michael Rice has left the band, with guitarist Barry Morrell taking over vocal duties.
New EP release via SoundCloud…. Casual Sex – The Bastard Beat, streaming on SoundCloud.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – What Will Be Will Be (demo).
November 8, 2013: BBC ALBA programme Buskers has returned for a second series, with the first two episodes available to watch on iPlayer. Episode 2′s spotlight on Glasgow features Donald Macdonald, Alan Tennie, Anna Shields and Holly Wilson.
November 7, 2013: New gigs… Fireside Acoustic Sessions (organised by Comets & Cartwheels) at Glasgow’s Drake Bar featuring free stripped-back sets from Friends In America + Prehistoric Friends on November 7, Finn LeMarinel on November 14, Randolph’s Leap on November 21 and Honeyblood + LightGuides on November 28.
New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + The Youth And Young at Strathaven’s Old Mill Studios on December 7.
November 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Roar (Katy Perry cover for Vic Galloway session).
New song stream via YouTube… Fridge Magnets – Chase The Sun.
Rachel Sermanni has set up a PledgeMusic page for pre-orders of her Everything Changes EP.
Free song download via SoundCloud… This Silent Forest – Root To The Seed, taken from debut album Indivision.
New song stream via Gold Flake Paint… Book Group – The Lowdown of A LOUD Sound, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single, out on November 25.
New video via YouTube… The Button Men – Man With A Plan.
November 5, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud (today only)… There Will Be Fireworks – Elder And Oak.
New video via YouTube… CHVRCHES – Lies.
The Birthday Suit have a PledgeMusic campaign featuring various incentives and packages to go with pre-orders of their third album A Hollow Hole Of Riches, out in April.
BrewDog Records has been set up by the Scottish craft beer company with its first official release being The Shiverin’ Sheiks single Guided Missiles, taken from the band’s debut album A Curious Case Of…, out on November 20.
November 4, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Washington Irving – Palomides: Volume II.
New album release via iTunes… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Over The Wall – Radiator, taken from This Is How We Did It EP, out on December 9.
November 1, 2013: New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + Kevin Harper at Glasgow’s SWG3 on November 22.
Arctic Monkeys have rescheduled tonight’s show at Glasgow’s Hydro to November 21 as singer Alex Turner has laryngitis. All original tickets remain valid.
New video via YouTube… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared. He plays with Beerjacket + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
October 31, 2013: New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Mary (first solo offering of ex-Kassidy member Barrie-James O’Neill).
New video via YouTube… Frightened Rabbit – Holy.
A fan-led campaign to boycott all of Idlewild’s side-projects in the hope of spurring them to make new music has been attacked by band member Rod Jones. The guitarist, who also fronts The Birthday Suit, wrote: “If anything this just has the opposite effect in that it made me really consider whether I wanted to make music anymore. My other band The Birthday Suit and its touring and releasing records has absolutely no bearing or influence on whether and when an Idlewild tour or album might happen.”
October 30, 2013: New gigs… The Reflektors (Arcade Fire) at Glasgow’s Barrowland on November 15 and November 16 – general sale from November 1; presale passwords are available to those who pre-ordered the band’s new album from their official website.
New album release via iTunes… Cairn String Quartet – One (streaming on SoundCloud) featuring orchestral covers of Lana Del Rey, Coldplay, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Ocean Colour Scene etc.
October 29, 2013: Free song download via official website… Mogwai – Remurdered (streaming on SoundCloud), taken from eighth album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Pinact – Brew.
New video via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows.
Free song download via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Madison – Mending, taken from Mending EP, out now.
Gig venue change…. Katie Sutherland plays Glasgow’s Faktory instead of Mackintosh Church on November 2.
October 28, 2013: New album release via Comets & Cartwheels… Blood Relatives – Deerheart.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Call To Mind – A Family Sketch.
New album release via Lost Map… Monoganon – F A M I L Y, streaming in full on Gold Flake Paint.
October 25, 2013: Born To Be Wide will host a seminar on record shops at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on November 7. Panelists include Rose Norton (Coda), Sandy McLean (Love Music) and Darren Yeates (VoxBox).
New gig… Blood Relatives album launch at Glasgow’s Bar & Fly on October 26.
New gig… Scottish Fiction presents Beerjacket & Friends + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
New song stream via SoundCloud… The LaFontaines – All She Knows (Prides remix).
The 1975, Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04s have been added to the Concert in the Gardens bill at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay alongside Pet Shop Boys. Other stages feature CHVRCHES, Django Django and King Creosote.
October 24, 2013: New gig… TYCI Christmas Party featuring secret live act plus DJ sets from CHVRCHES + Pretty Ugly + Adele Bethel at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Honeyblood – Kissing On You.
New gig… Starz In Their Eyes featuring RM Hubbert + Eagleowl + The Pictish Trail + Kid Canaveral + Two Wings (each covering a female artist of their choice) at Edinburgh’s Pilrig St Paul’s Church on November 23.
October 23, 2013: New video via YouTube… Siobhan Wilson – All Dressed Up.
New video via YouTube… TeenCanteen – Honey.
New video via YouTube… Young Fathers – Low, taken from forthcoming album Dead, out on February 3.
New video via YouTube… Biffy Clyro – Sounds Like Balloons.
New EP release via Bandcamp… End Of Neil – Less.
October 22, 2013: Local Natives’ Nik Ewing had his Fender Coronado bass guitar stolen during their gig at The Arches in Glasgow last night – contact police if you spot it.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared, out on November 28.
October 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… TeenCanteen – Honey, out on October 28. They play Edinburgh’s Summerhall on October 25, Glasgow’s Rio Cafe on October 26 (free) and Aberfeldy Festival on November 3.
New album release via Bandcamp… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead.
New video via YouTube… Kobi Onyame – Goodbye World, Hello, taken from new album Glory, out on November 4.
Free download via official website… Plum – Death Comes With A Bow, taken from Betsy Thunder EP, out now.
October 18, 2013: Dumfries Music Conference has announced its upcoming four-day programme of free events in the town.
October 30: Screening of LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits at Robert Burns Centre.
October 31: Music Industry Experts seminar featuring The Pop Cop and others at The Stove (ticketed).
November 1: Songwriting Workshops featuring Findlay Napier + Finding Albert’s Robert Shields at The Stove.
November 1: Live showcase featuring Hector Bizerk + Honeyblood + Barstow Bats at The Stove (ticketed).
November 2: Record Fair featuring Rebecca Vasmant (Ministry Of Sound) + Jason Reid (Sub Club) at The Stove.
October 17, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Washington Irving – Babble. Their track Palomides is also available for free download. Both are taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
New video via Clash… The Birthday Suit – A Bigger World, out on November 4.
New video via YouTube… Atom Tree – Die For Your Love, taken from Tide Of Thorns EP, out on October 18.
Free gig… Rachel Sermanni at Glasgow’s Love Music on October 21 (5pm).
October 16, 2013: New video via YouTube… Colin Macleod – Devil Pavement (Live from the Green Bus), taken from The Anchor EP, out on October 21. On the same day he will play instore sets at Edinburgh’s Coda Music (1pm) and Glasgow’s Love Music (5.30pm).
57ᵒ North have published their Guide To DIY Gig Promotion – a useful resource for anyone venturing into this side of the music business.
Michael Cassidy will play at the opening night party for Glasgow’s The Bar & Fly on October 19.
Free gig… French Wives + Randolph’s Leap + Laki Mera + The Graveyard Band + Donald Macdonald And The Islands + The Mademoiselle for 1st Birthday Bash at Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 25 (RSVP required).
October 15, 2013: New video via YouTube… Travis – Mother.
New video via YouTube…. Casual Sex – Nothing On Earth, taken from The Bastard Beat EP, out on October 28.
October 14, 2013: Anna Sweeney, who spoke out on The Pop Cop about her mental health issues after quitting her solo career, has started a new project with Maeve McCrorie called The Scarlings. They play their first gig at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on October 31.
October 12, 2013: New documentary via BBC iPlayer… The Great Hip Hop Hoax.
New song stream via Clash… Washington Irving – Palomides, taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
Free download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Glow (demo).
Free album download via Bandcamp… Louie & Bigg Taj – Paranoise.
October 11, 2013: New gig… Withered Hand at Edinburgh’s Whale Arts Centre on October 19 (free tickets) with free return coach travel from Waterloo Place as part of Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.
New tour… Travis at Edinburgh’s Picture House on November 17, Inverness’ Ironworks on November 18, Aberdeen’s Music Hall on November 19 and Glasgow’s Barrowland on December 20.
October 10, 2013: The venue splits and stage times for Haddowfest in Edinburgh on October 11-12 have been released.
New video via YouTube… Honeyblood – Bud. The band play Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 29 and Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 30.
New video via YouTube… Camera Obscura – Troublemaker. The band’s Break It To You Gently double 7″ single is out now.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Soul Surrender, taken from debut album Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead, out on October 21.
October 9, 2013: New video via YouTube… Katie Sutherland – Canvas. She plays Glasgow’s Mackintosh Church on November 2.
New gig… Rachel Sermanni + Bwani Junction + Vigo Thieves at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on November 23 (for War Child). Rachel’s The Boatshed Sessions EP is out on October 21.
The Great Hip Hop Hoax will be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on October 11 at 9pm.
LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits will be shown for free at Dumfries’ Robert Burns Centre on October 30 as part of Dumfries Music Conference which runs from October 30 to November 2.
October 8, 2013: CHVRCHES, Django Django, King Creosote, The Rezillos, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers’ Bid have been announced to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party alongside headliners Pet Shop Boys.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
October 7, 2013: New song stream via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows, out on October 27; B-side My Yo-Yo available now on iTunes.
New album release via iTunes… The Fratellis – We Need Medicine.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Grand Gestures – Second.
New album release via Fortuna POP!… The Spook School – Dress Up.
October 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… De Rosa – Spectres. The band play their first gig in four years as part of Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles IV at Edinburgh’s Portobello Town Hall on December 14.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Androgynous (The Replacements cover).
New album stream via SoundCloud… L.Pierre – Neverland Transmission, A Disney Mix (tracklist on Dazed and Confused).
October 4, 2013: 57º North will run a free music journalism training course at Aberdeen’s Seventeen every Wednesday for four weeks from October 23. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for one of six spaces.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Katie Sutherland – Canvas, out on November 18.
New gigs via Ticketmaster… The Twilight Sad performing debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 20 and December 21.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Little Kicks – Put Your Love In Front Of Me.
New video via BBC iPlayer… Rapal – Series 7, Episode 8, featuring Vukovi, Donald Macdonald And The Islands, The Velveteen Saints, The River 68′s and Conquering Animal Sound.
October 3, 2013: The Glasgow venue formerly known as The Barfly, which shut in February 2009, will reopen as The Bar & Fly at the same location on Clyde Street on October 18.
New video via YouTube… The Deep Red Sky – Kids (MGMT cover), out on October 7.
New song via YouTube… Finn LeMarinel – Love Is Waves (demo).
October 2, 2013: Free album download via UK Rock Radio… Free Sample Issue #03 featuring songs by The Xcerts, Sparrow And The Workshop, Admiral Fallow, A Band Called Quinn, Mull Historical Society and Unkle Bob.
Meursault frontman Neil Pennycook will be a guest speaker at Born To Be Wide’s seminar on promoting gigs, which takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 3.
New video via YouTube… We Were Hunted – You Know Me Now.
What The Blood Revealed have announced they are splitting up.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands – Belong.
October 1, 2013: Free song download via iTunes… CHVRCHES – Tether. Singer Lauren Mayberry has written a Guardian article about the online misogyny she has been suffering, it’s well worth a read.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Julia & The Doogans – Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue cover).
New song stream via SoundCloud… Cold Crows Dead – Ghost That Burned Your House Down, taken from debut album I Fear A New World, out on December 2. The band is a collaboration between The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod and Brighton songwriter Paul Steel. They play Aberdeen’s Tunnels on December 10 and Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 11.
It’s a special day as we present the 50th anniversary edition of the Music Alliance Pact – our Peruvian counterpart designed the awesome logo.
In the past four years I’ve never picked the same Scottish artist twice, so hopefully you’ll let me get away with this month’s choice on a technicality.
2013 is shaping up to be a huge year for Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire with their biggest headlining show to date, a brand new album (available to pre-order via PledgeMusic) and the January release of their four-track Bright Light Fever EP, which contains three songs that didn’t make the album, including A StoryA Story.
Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 40-track compilation through Ge.tt here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire – Queenstown
When I launched the Music Alliance Pact with a dozen blogs in October 2008, I never imagined it would be going as strong as it is today, with 40 countries around the world now part of the project. For this, the 50th consecutive month of MAP, I’m returning to where it all started with my first ever Scottish pick, Roddy Hart, albeit in his full-band guise. The Glaswegian has vacated the singer-songwriter path and is aiming for a Springsteen meets The National vibe with Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire’s self-titled album, due out in spring 2013 and produced by Danton Supple (Coldplay). From it, savour the compelling Queenstown, a MAP exclusive download.
February 2, ABC1, Glasgow (Celtic Connections show with Three Blind Wolves) (tickets)
December 21, Fat Sams, Dundee (tickets)
Plástico – Cinicos
For the 50th edition of MAP we have chosen a brand new band from a western suburb of Buenos Aires. Plástico’s sound is a mixture of trip-rock with some electronic and acoustic elements that caught the attention of famous producer Raphael Gordon (The Strokes). Together they recorded a couple of tracks. One is Subir Al Tren, which was used on their first video. The other is Cinicos, previously unreleased, which is a great preview of their upcoming debut album.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Courtney Barnett – History Eraser
It’s hard to pin down what exactly defines that distinct ‘Australian’ sound. For all the ringing guitar riffs and choruses sung in unison etched into our collective memory, there’s something about Australian music that still flails an antipodean flag. We isolate ourselves on the coast; we recycle stories about strangers, lovers and backyard melancholia; we make poetry championing the suburbs. Melbourne singer Courtney Barnett is certainly at home on her track History Eraser. A colloquial ode to The Triffids, ticket inspectors and nights with good company, this track is a perfect summary of the earnest freewheelin’ and rambling wit that makes music from this end of the world just so great.
Mauracher – Outer Space Dancer
Outer Space Dancer is the first single from the new, fourth Mauracher album Super Seven, out now on Fabrique Records. For this album, Tyrolean electronic musician Hubert Mauracher has teamed up with singer Sonia Sawoff (of Sawoff Shotgun). Together, they create synth-filled dream-pop with ethereal lyrics such as, “When I close my eyes, I stop thinking”.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Sexy Fi – Pequeno Dicionário Das Ruas
From our capital Brasília comes Sexy Fi, a band that knows how to make a good first impression. Their debut album was produced by John McEntire (Tortoise) and received great reviews in Brazilian alternative blogs. Pequeno Dicionário Das Ruas is the song that opens the album and sees them experiment with indie-rock, resulting in a tropical, alternative sound.
CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Some Minor Noise – Tape Experiments
Toronto duo Some Minor Noise’s Tape Experiment gets its name from the fact that every sound used, except the kick, snare and vocal, was recorded through a 13-year-old cassette deck, an Optimus CTR-117 (Google it), to a very worn cassette tape that’s at least 10 years old. The end result has a richness and humanity that’s very often missing from electro-pop, and a perfect example of Some Minor Noise’s refreshing take on a familiar genre.
CHILE: Super 45
Nader Cabezas – Doble En El Espejo
Synthesizer layers, guitars with heavy feedback and a lo-fi sound are the attributes of duo Nader Cabezas. On their new album, El Hijo Del Mounstruo, released through LeRockPsicophonique, their music goes deeper into this direction, resulting in dense and obscure rock but without losing focus on what matters – the songs. Doble En El Espejo is taken from this album.
Chui Wan – Berber
Chui Wan is a four-piece experimental psychedelic rock band from Beijing. Their lush arrangements of guitar, keyboard, viola, other assorted instruments and random sound samples often eschew reliable melodies and vocal harmonies in favor of occasional passages of minimal drone or maximal sonic layerings. They will have their debut release tour with Brooklyn-based band Psychic Ills in China this month.
COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Alfonso Espriella – Cielo Adentro
Alfonso Espriella is a tireless and dedicated musician who has been making alternative rock for more than 10 years. Joel Hamilton produced his most recent EP, Anima, from which Cielo Adentro (“Heaven Inside”) is taken. It evokes marked influences of acts such as Caifanes from Mexico or Robi Draco Rosa from Puerto Rico, with deep lyrics and an emotive sound.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Savage Rose – Soldier On The Run
On Love And Freedom, The Savage Rose’s 21st album since their eponymous debut in 1968, the legendary rock outfit stage love and politics on an amazing backdrop of hauntingly soulful rock – just as they did when they were a young band – taken to magical heights by frontwoman Annisette’s breathtaking vocal and a performance I could never do justice to in words. Because it’s anniversary time on MAP, here’s a mindbogglingly exclusive download of Soldier On The Run.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Janio Lora – Mi Nueva Edad
For this MAP special edition, singer-songwriter and dreamer Janio Lora has recorded a new demo. Produced by Argentinian composer Pablo Dacal, Mi Nueva Edad blends elegant tango melodies with poignant lyrics as a preview of what to expect from Janio’s upcoming album.
ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Da Pawn – Casi Siempre
A band’s music lasts over time when its songs become part of a generation’s culture. Da Pawn, one of the revelations of this year, reworks a popular single by the important electronic indie-pop band Can Can into a beautiful folk-rock song. This track is taken from the free download album Malas Influencias (Remixes y Reversiones), which celebrates the 10th anniversary of Can Can.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Dan Croll – From Nowhere (Ben Gomori’s Staring You In The Eye Remix)
Dan Croll is a Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts graduate who doesn’t like The Beatles, a folkie who’s gone electronic, and a bespectacled boffin who is no softie – in fact, he could have played rugby for England until an accident waylaid his plans. Instead he’s the new golden boy of indie Afro-tinged synth’n'b. From Nowhere is his debut single, a catchy slice of electro-pop with a breezy vocal about losing control and a hook designed to lodge in your skull.
Statues Made Of Matchsticks – If I Didn’t Comb My Hair
Folk trio Statues Made Of Matchsticks joins the 50th MAP post celebration with an exclusive song recorded at their rehearsal room this month. If I Didn’t Comb My Hair features the band’s signature laid-back acoustic sounds and a sweet pop melody to create a perfect sunset-on-front-porch kind of song.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Colours In The Street – Paper Child
Colours In The Street’s members are still in high school but have acquired a big following with only two years behind them thanks to delightful pop songs with strong English influences and a very thorough sense of composition. Having won several contests with only the few songs from their first EP, Euphory, they decided to push further and have been recording a second EP, Paper Child, due out on December 15, from which this song is taken. Watch them playing an acoustic set in a bathroom here.
Touchy Mob – Seven Hills (Afternoon Touchymap version)
I’m very proud to present an exclusive recording by my favourite German artist Ludwig Plath aka Touchy Mob, who was first featured on MAP in February 2011. He has reworked his song Seven Hills with guitar, bass and rattle – resulting in something he calls ‘fuzzybuzzy’. I love his velvet voice and how his attention to detail and songwriting skills make my hair stand on end.
Le Page – Ileana
Le Page is a secret worth knowing about. They are clearly ready to step out from the shadows and play timeless music intended for dreamers and romantics. Their new digital single feels like the product of careful, thoughtful growth, bringing in new influences while maintaining the group’s core sound. It makes an indelible mark. Shimmering, beguiling and evocative, Ileana is a song that boldly merges the subtle and the overt. It will haunt you for many days to come.
Biggi Hilmars – War Hero
War Hero is the second single from Biggi’s upcoming solo album All We Can Be. It is a rearrangement of Ponds, one of Biggi’s most sought-after compositions, which has been featured on numerous films, TV series and commercials around the globe. Biggi wrote the lyrics and dedicated the song to his sister Agusta, who had been fighting cancer for years. She is the War Hero.
Harlan Boer – Kiri Kanan
Harlan Boer is a humble singer who writes simple yet sophisticated lyrics and infuses them in melodic, acoustic arrangements. Kiri Kanan is a glorious indie-pop tune.
Owensie – Distance Of Her Love
Distance Of Her Love is possibly the first song that could be called an Irish bossa nova tune, but that description doesn’t tell the whole story. Lilting bright guitar with a Brazilian slant and Michael Owens’ threadbare falsetto lead the way on a song about a mother’s faraway son, while the mournful brass underscores the lyrical sentiment. It’s taken from Owensie’s confident second album Citizens.
Crimea X – Essential
Crimea X is the project of Jukka Reverberi, from cult indie band Giardini Di Mirò, and DJ Rocca (Maffia Soundsystem). They play cosmic disco with krautrock and Marxist influences. If space stations have radios, they’ll definitely be playing some Crimea X on repeat. In February 2013, Crimea X will release their second album, Another, produced by Bjørn Torske (Smalltown Supersound), and Essential is a MAP exclusive preview.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
For Tracy Hyde – Shady Lane Sherbert
Over the past year, Japan has been experiencing a boom in indie-pop music, with artists from every corner of the country embracing twee sounds. New Tokyo trio For Tracy Hyde are similarly enchanted, but unlike a lot of their peers they incorporate more experimental touches into their music. Shady Lane Sherbert brings in a sprinkling of chillwave, but does so in a way that keeps the song bouncy.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Beangrowers – Ranchero
For more than a decade, Beangrowers have been Malta’s indie ambassadors, having released albums and played tours on both sides of the Atlantic. The female-fronted trio can always be counted on to deliver quirky, off-the-wall but nonetheless catchy numbers. With all three members living in different countries for the past couple of years, the good news is that they have now regrouped and a new EP is in the works.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Niñovan – Pequeño Folk
Apparently the beautiful Baja California landscapes are inspiring enough to write and record simple, innocent folk songs. At least that’s what we imagine while listening to Niñovan, a boy/girl duo from the coastal city of Ensenada. Karina Niño and Efraín de la Rocha released their first album, Pequeño Folk, this year and won a place in this month’s MAP through an open announcement we recently made at Panamérika. Their song Pequeño Folk (translated as “Little Folk”) puts the emphasis on the infantile aura of this project, projected even in their own name (“niño” means “child” in Spanish), and perfectly sums up their ideas and imagination.
Vox Von Braun – Dig A Hole
Vox Von Braun are the undisputed chroniclers of the seedier aspects of Dutch provincial life. Habitual stoners, gonzo wannabes and possibly the laziest and unluckiest of outfits, you’re more likely to see them mooching about all-night bars in Groningen than performing anywhere near you. But there’s strength in adversity: this most charming of bands harness their kitchen sink romance to one of the most beautiful, crystalline walls of sound you’ll encounter. And for such a horizontal bunch they have influential fans: the new LP was mixed by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and recorded in Brighton by Matt Thwaites from The Electric Soft Parade. MAP exclusive track Dig A Hole features Brenda of bozo poets Spilt Milk, with their second LP, Rich & On Wheels, out in December.
Francois Peglau – Life Is Indefinable
This month the Music Alliance Pact turns 50 and, to celebrate, we bring you an unreleased song recorded by Francois Peglau especially for the landmark. Life Is Indefinable is dedicated to his newborn son and has a beautiful acoustic warmth and much tenderness. The London-based Peruvian is working on his second album. You can watch the video for his latest single Everybody Loves Me, filmed in New York, here.
POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Plug&Play – Cities I’ll Never Go To
Plug&Play is changing. Having been on the Polish alternative scene for about six years, they’re moving from post-punk/dance-punk origins to more sophisticated song structures, a good example of which is Cities I’ll Never Go To. The lyrics of this track are a metaphorical journey through different cities all over the world. Since we’re on MAP check if your hometown is one of them.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Balla – A Casa (Wall Of Sound Mix)
For this very special 50th post/month, multi-instrumentalist and producer Armando Teixeira, one of the most talented Portuguese composers, offers MAP and its followers an exclusive new mix for A Casa, one of his tracks from Balla’s new album, Canções. The original version as well as the full album are available for free from his website.
PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Los Niños Estelares – Satya Yuga Está Por Comenzar (Sesión Archipiélago)
Clearly the product of an internet age, Los Niños Estelares unleashed their brand of heartfelt and biting satire on an unsuspecting Puerto Rican populace four years ago via YouTube. Half a million views later, the duo is back with Satya Yuga Está Por Comenzar, a direct sequel to their most popular song. Fernando Castro-Álvarez barely catches his breath as he lays out the path to righteousness through internal struggle, while Darío Constaín keeps things simple on the guitar, allowing the lyrics to take center stage. This special live take, a preview of the band’s upcoming fourth album, was recorded for Puerto Rico Indie’s Archipiélago video series and is available exclusively for download here.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
We Singing Colors – Cantec De Seara
As a special gift for the MAP anniversary, our friends from We Singing Colors have prepared a simple but intense song in their familiar acoustic/electronic style. Their intimate set-up combines vocals, guitar, handmade instruments and beautiful lyrics in Romanian.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
DZA – I ❤ U
After the successful launch of his Surrender EP, DZA drops a new tune, I Love U, on his SoundCloud. The famous Russian beatmaker twists the classic chiptune-style sound into the house playground. Big up, Sasha!
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Gema – Before
Gema’s debut EP Before is a sprawling canvas of sounds, textures, layers, beats and samples that come together to form a cohesive theme of soulful disturbia. I’m somewhat afraid of what I might find inside Gema’s head. Every sound seems to have a sort of nascent meaning, which is scary because such premeditated behaviour has no place in the hands of a musician capable of carving another world straight into your skull. He’s one of the newest additions to the Syndicate stable, and we hope the marriage of the two will equal three.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Diamond Thug – Lipstick Stains
A smattering of synths, piercing vocals and some cutting lyrics turn Diamond Thug’s Lipstick Stains into instantly addictive listening. The trio is made up of Danilo, Dylan and Chantel, and while the project is in its infancy, given the quality of work they are producing they’ll soon be making waves.
SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Hugh Keice – We Are Islands (acoustic)
Originally from Seoul, London-based singer-songwriter Hugh Keice counts both John Mayer and Jamiroquai as influences, owning to a sound that ranges from acoustic pop to neo soul. His third EP, Slow Tree, is scheduled for release in January. He has recorded an acoustic version of his new song, We Are Islands, exclusively for MAP.
Ceremoney – Morning Body
We are always pleased to hear new tracks we can dance to, and that’s exactly what Ceremoney has delivered with Morning Body. They describe their sound as post-tropipunk, probably influenced by the crossbreeding of Hispanic and British cultures you find in the Balearic Islands, where they’re from. They craft post-punk with tropical, danceable roots, which is fresh to listen to and perfect to move your body to.
SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Last Lynx – Killing Switch
Last Lynx is a Stockholm-based band inspired by the organic 60s, howling wolves and modern electro-pop. When those worlds collide and become one, magic happens. The young quartet mixes slick guitar grooves with well thought-out electronic elements and wonderful vocals, with amazing and highly addictive results. Killing Switch is the first single off their as-yet-untitled sophomore EP, due out in early 2013 via SoFo Records.
The Monofones – Drop Dead
The Monofones hail from Berne and play straight-edge garage rock right in your face and heart. They’ve just released their third album Super Hits. For the 50th edition of the Music Alliance Pact they have made an exclusive recording of Drop Dead, which is straightforward, raw and dirty.
Seni Görmem İmkansız – Tarçın Gezegeni
Kadıköy, on the Asian side of Istanbul, always boasts Turkey’s most interesting new acts. The two young women who make up Seni Görmem İmkansız are BFFs who down doubles of rakı, our national drink, on stage. It actually fits when you consider their band name means “impossible to see you”, a line from an unnecessarily depressing Arabesque song from the 80s that goes instinctively well with rakı. In Tarçın Gezegeni, synths and drums take us back to that decade, with the sultanic melody of a toy melodica creating a weirdly elegant and hard-drinking piece of work.
UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
The Pass – Real Summer
For MAP’s 50th month of posting, electro-rock outfit The Pass have allowed us to post a web exclusive track off their new album Melt. Real Summer is a tornado of sound that builds and builds with each note. Have your ears perked from the three-minute mark to close – it’s one of the best stretches of music this year.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Audrey Holder – Cuando No Sé De Ti
Audrey Holder is a young woman from Caracas whose melodious voice is part of the Cantoría José Antonio Anzoátegui, one of Venezuela’s leading choirs. She’s preparing her first album, but here we can hear an acoustic track she recorded earlier this year.